MAURY CO., Tenn. (WKRN) — “Self-defense,” is how a man, who was taken into custody in connection to a deadly shooting in Maury County, responded to News 2’s Stephanie Langston when asked for a comment.

News 2 crews were there when Nathanial Pipkin, 22, was brought in for questioning at the Maury County Jail.

He was taken into custody in Grundy County Friday morning.

According to the Maury County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a shots fired call at a residence on Double Branch Road at 5:54 a.m.

“It was about family members who started shooting at occupants in the home. The caller, who called in the 911 call, was a family member, who escaped through a window and ran to a neighbor’s house to place the 911 call,” said Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Deputies started arriving on the scene within ten minutes of the call. They discovered three victims dead from gunshot wounds. According to Sheriff Rowland, two adults, including the suspect’s mother, and an 11-year-old girl were found dead from gunshot wounds.

Maury County dispatch immediately began to contact other agencies to BOLO (be on the lookout) for a 2003 silver Mustang and Pipkin.

Sheriff Rowland said Monteagle police spotted the suspect’s vehicle around 8:50 a.m. and called for Tennessee Highway Patrol for assistance.

The agencies initiated a traffic stop and took Pipkin into custody. “Multiple firearms were in plain view such as long guns, and the suspect was actively wearing ballistic body armor,” said Sheriff Rowland.

He was taken into custody at 8:56 a.m. more than 100 miles away from the initial crime scene.

Sheriff Rowland said Pipkin was a family member. “He is a brother, stepbrother to some in the home. And his mother was one of the victims.”

The family member who called 911 is okay. The sheriff did not identify him or other victims by name.

“We ask those who are watching this to keep the family in their prayers and first responders in their prayers,” said Sheriff Rowland.

Neighbors were shocked to hear the tragedy that unfolded in their tight-knit community.

“We never imagined we would hear anything like this on this road. Everybody knows each other everybody gets along really well,” neighbor Mark Phelps said. “It’s surprising and disheartening.”

Maury County Suspect
Maury County Triple Homicide Suspect (WKRN Photo)

Pipkin is being held at the Maury County jail and will be booked on three counts of homicide.

As for the suspect, Sheriff Rowland said he was previously arrested in Maury County. He was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in March 2, 2021.

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The sheriff said they have contacted the school resource officer for the young girl who was killed in order to contact school counselors to assist students after they learn of the tragedy.

Maury County Schools did not confirm if the girl was one of their students. However, late Friday afternoon the principal of Battle Creek Elementary released the following statement.

Good afternoon Battle Creek Middle School families,

This is Mike Kinnard, Principal of Battle Creek, communicating that there has been a heartbreaking incident in the surrounding community that impacted our school family today. At this time because of the sensitive nature of this information, we will allow the Maury County Sheriff’s Department to share information.  

On Monday,10/4, grief and support counseling will be available at the Battle Creek Middle School library from 10 am-2 pm.  Additional services will be provided for students when they return from Fall Break.   

Should support services be necessary over the weekend, the following hotlines are available:  

SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line, available 24 hours a day/365 days a year, is a resource for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.   All calls are routed to a trained crisis counselor in your area, who will provide you support and guidance, and work to connect you with appropriate community supports. This service is free. Call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471)

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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.